Vape associations call for engagement with industry before finalising regulations

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Retail Electronic Cigarette Association (MRECA) has called on the Health Ministry to engage the vape industry before finalising regulations that will be imposed.

MRECA president Datuk Adzwan Ab Manas said the Health Ministry's engagement with relevant stakeholders is needed to ensure a smooth process for the vape industry to transition into a regulated ecosystem.

This came after the Dewan Rakyat passed the Control of Smoking Products and Public Health 2023 Bill via a voice vote yesterday.

Adzwan said a key priority is to ensure vape regulations are developed taking into consideration the transitional processes, sensible requirements on products, packaging and labelling.

"The finer details of the regulatory framework have yet to be introduced and it remains to be seen what type of requirements would be imposed on the products.

"Regulations also must be crafted taking into consideration consumer needs, scientific studies on the product, trends while at the same time not restricting innovation.

"This way regulations will be effective and practical to enforce. The key is to strike a balance to ensure products do not fall into the hands of underage individuals and consider the needs of consumers and industry," he told the New Straits Times.

He commended the government for passing the bill, recognising its potential to provide clear guidelines for regulating products, ensuring consumer safety, and preventing underage usage.

Meanwhile, the Vape Consumer Association of Malaysia (VCAM)xpressed hope that the newly introduced regulations for vape products would be implemented in a balanced manner, without overly discouraging cigarette smokers from transitioning to vaping.

In a statement, VCAM said it is crucial to maintain an environment that motivates smokers to make the switch to vaping, as this step could pave the way for them to quit smoking.

"VCAM warmly welcomes and applauds the government and the parliament for their diligent efforts in tabling and passing the revised Control of Smoking Products for Public Health 2023 bill which now includes regulations for vape products.

"This significant development demonstrates the government's commitment to prioritise public health, aligning perfectly with the years of unwavering advocacy carried out by VCAM," it said.

It added that it remains committed to working collaboratively with the government and relevant stakeholders to achieve the equilibrium that prioritises public health while supporting individuals in their journey towards a smoke-free future.

The Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill was first proposed last year.

The bill was tabled for the third and final reading yesterday by Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

Dr Zaliha, in expressing her hope for lawmakers to approve the bill in Parliament, said any shortcoming in the bill could be improved over time.

"I would like to emphasise that the bill must be approved today and I hope that we (members of parliament) can welcome it graciously.

"There is also time for us to improve the bill if we see any (loopholes) from a regulatory perspective."

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories